I love MASH as much as the the next guy (or girl), but sometimes the condescending morality offends my grunt sensibilities. I was watching episode “Give and Take” for the hundredth time when I decided what finally bugged me about some of the episodes. Its the way they portray line combat soldiers as hateful bastards.
This episode (if you haven’t seen it, shame on you) portrays an American soldier being guilted for shooting an enemy soldier while trying to steal his boots.
This episode shows a soldier giving a blanket to the soldier he shot in the post operative ward. The episode appears to take place in during the winter and makes it appear as though the American soldier was morally wrong for shooting an enemy soldier attempting to take his boots after he was wounded. The enemy soldier is then placed next to the American soldier in the post operative ward giving him the chance to “redeem himself” by giving his blanket to the enemy soldier when he exhibits signs of frostbite. The episode shows the enemies humanity when he trades a chocolate bar back for the blanket making the soldier rethink his completely normal and rational action. The enemy soldier ends up dying of his wounds.
I disagree with this on two levels.
First, no combat soldier should be treated in the same area as soldiers who he (or she) was just in a life or death struggle with prior to receiving a wound sufficient to be evaced to a treatment area.
Second, no fighting man ( or woman) should ever be made to feel guilty about killing the enemy. Those who are unwilling to lay their lives on the line for their country or freedom should not be allowed to judge those who do.
Those soldiers who lay their lives on the line should never be made to feel less because they hate the person who kills their friends in battle, that is the nature of battle and is best summed up here.
If you think it’s some sort of of hate crime for a soldier to want to show domination over his vanquished enemy then you should crawl back into your mothers basement and stay there.